THE AMERICAS: Plotters' Playground

A light rain sifted down on southeast Florida one night last week as the 62-ft. cabin cruiser Harpoon eased out of a remote cove near Miami and zigzagged through mangrove islands to the sea. Suddenly, a blinding spotlight blazed through the mist. The U.S. border patrol cutter Douglas C. Shute roared alongside and two agents leaped to the Harpoon's slippery deck yelling: "Keep her on course!" As a defiant helmsman slammed the Harpoon into a mangrove thicket, uniformed Cuban revolutionaries poured from the cabin. One tried to fire his submachine gun, failed...

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